Are you out of the closet as a writer? And if so, are there days when you wish you could jump back in the closet and board the door up from the inside?
Some days I feel like that. Why? Because now that people know I'm a writer, they expect certain things. Like, a published book. Well-meaning people often ask me, "So how's it going with the book? Is it published yet? Where can I buy it? And don't real writers have books out already?" (Ok, I made up that last part)
Times like this can be tough for writers, but it's also an opportunity to don our wrinkled, dusty "patience" hats. Here's three things we can remember to do:
Be patient with others
Most people who ask about our writing progress are showing genuine interest and are being kind. People that aren't a part of the publishing world don't usually understand how s-l-o-w it is. Just like I don't know how engineering or manufacturing works, most people outside the bookish loop don't know how publishing works, or the arduous steps we must take to reach our goals.
Be patient with the publishing industry
Agents, editors, and interns are hard-working folks, just like you and me. Reading through queries and manuscripts takes a long time. Heck, we know how long it takes to revise our own manuscripts, and these people do it all day every day. We don't want them to rush past our manuscript as if it doesn't matter. If they're taking their time with other manuscripts, hopefully they'll take their time with ours.
Be patient with ourselves
If we're constantly focused on all that we're not, we're ignoring what we are and what we've accomplished so far. Learning a craft and working hard to improve it takes a lot of time. Like, months and years, not days. So even though the process is maddeningly slow, and being patient is sometimes difficult, it's a good virtue to strive for.
Do you find yourself becoming impatient with non-writers, the writing industry, and yourself? If so, how do you handle it? And if you're already published, did you have your own moments of impatience?
And on a kind of/sort of similar subject, you might want to check out this post at Write It Sideways: Can You Really Call Yourself a Writer?